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Neighbour complaining about our garden lights

357 replies

Slave2love · 25/11/2019 11:09

Very petty and silly subject I know but here goes.
We have a small hedge on the edge of our front lawn to separate our garden from the neighbour's driveway. (Only recently planted, very small at this stage) further in on our lawn we have put a few small solar lights. Next doors drive is only just wide enough to squeeze 2 cars side by side and there is very little room to open doors etc. Until we put the hedge and lights in they were opening their car door fully over our garden in order to get out (also stepping on our land at times). Now I appreciate that we have made it awkward for them to open the doors fully now but surely they are not entitled to use our garden in order to get out of their car? They are new to the street but we knew of them previously and children are actually in the same class at school. Neighbour has asked this morning if we can move the solar lights. All has been pleasant with them up until now despite them being quite selfish neighbours. I could understand if the lights were on the boundary line but they are much further in. I feel it is them who have created the problem by parking 2 cars on a drive only really suitable for one. AIBU to not want to move the lights?

OP posts:
MulticolourMophead · 25/11/2019 14:44

OP should not have to modify her garden to accommodate the neighbour's two cars. Neighbours can modify their own garden so they have room to park 2 cars.

Especially as they bought a house with a drive not quite wide enough for two cars, they knew what they were getting.

It's not OP's problem to solve.

OP, replace your hedge with a fence, I think you'll find your hedge damaged otherwise.

And get the decking checked out with your local council's planning site, they are likely to be in breach.

Whoops75 · 25/11/2019 14:50

They suited themselves with the deck so I see no problem with you doing the same.

Dontsweatthelittlestuff · 25/11/2019 14:50

Get rid of the hedge and lay a membrane and some shingle along the gap between the drive and grass.
Then buy 4 of these ( or similar or larger)

And evenly space them along the boundary. Fill each on with a standard bay tree and pop in one of each of the lights.

Job done and you have done as asked and moved the lights as requested.

Slave2love · 25/11/2019 14:58

I think we will probably end up removing the hedge as suggested as it's just not doing its job and by the sounds of it it won't grow properly. But if I replant something further in am I not just giving away some of our land to next door. Surely this is exactly what they want?

OP posts:
DriftingLeaves · 25/11/2019 15:00

A fence would be better. Pretend it's to protect the hedge while it grows. hen take the hedge out in a few months.

SirVixofVixHall · 25/11/2019 15:06

I would put in a fence, then grow things up against it. If you have any plants with no fence they will keep on being CF and walking on your plants and grass. I also imagine they might “accidentally “ damage either the lights or the hedging. A fence would give you a space that is more visually “yours” too, with no ambiguity. The flatness makes them feel the whole space is theirs.

TabbyMumz · 25/11/2019 15:10

Change the hedge into a soil border (which can get very muddy to stand on), and plant rosebushes along it at intervals. They wont want to stand on that.

bluebeck · 25/11/2019 15:15

Are you sure you cannot have a low fence or wall?

If you absolutely cannot, then do what "don'tsweat* suggests but make sure they are really bloody heavy/preferably cemented in.

goldfinchfan · 25/11/2019 15:24

If you don't put up a fence then it is very likely that your garden will become part of their drive.
then inch by inch they will fight their way to take a bit more.
Stop them now as you have mentioned that they have already been selfish in some ways.

CravingCheese · 25/11/2019 15:25

I'd move the solar lights. But keep the hedge. I like hedges. (didn't read the whole thread, btw.)

TheOrigFV45 · 25/11/2019 15:27

Crocodile infested moat.

spanglydangly · 25/11/2019 15:29

Crocodile infested moat.

Genius idea Grin

CravingCheese · 25/11/2019 15:29

Slave to love

Rose bushes, a soil border and / or cobblestones or natural boulders sound like a good idea to me.

That's a fairly strong / sturdy setup.

But I have a bit of a soft sport for builders anyway. They also look really nice with a more mediterran gardening style. And they're sturdy enough to not be damaged by a car (unless somebody is ok with seriously damaging their car as well)...

Beerincomechampagnetastes · 25/11/2019 15:30

I don’t think you’re being petty and it would bother me.
If you acquiesce to these people they will just push you around forever.
I wouldn’t be moving anything if I was you.

LavaMagma · 25/11/2019 15:30

If you don't put up a fence then it is very likely that your garden will become part of their drive, then inch by inch they will fight their way to take a bit more.
Stop them now as you have mentioned that they have already been selfish in some ways.


Small picket fence. Something like this
Mark your boundary.

AmIAWeed · 25/11/2019 15:33

They look like box plants, which are slow growing and will stay small for many years, privet would have been better to create the same look and you can buy bare root this time of year for much less than potted plants, the will stay green all year and don't have thorns so can be seen as 'friendly' whilst clearly marking your boundary. The issue with giving them room to grow is hedges get wide as well as tall. Your neighbors can cut anything overhanging and if the main stem is right on the boundary they could essentially scalp one side leaving it looking crap as well as being weak.
I'd be tempted with the fence - that way you can play dumb and say the lights won't be too bright for them now!!

Disfordarkchocolate · 25/11/2019 15:33

If you're not allowed a fence or wall them take out the little hedge and plant a row of berberis. Not too close as you need to trim them from your side. They are spiky and easily deterred the cheeky teens who used to use my path as a short cut (and they are pretty).

CravingCheese · 25/11/2019 15:38

How about a raised rock bed?
Or doesn't that conform to the spirit / would that count as a wall?

But yes, a thick, thorny hedge would probably be great. And I personally tend to really like the look. What I do not know is how the UK solves the issue of trimming a hedge. Are they allowed to trim any possible over growth on their property? If yes, are you required to pay them for that labour / us it regarded as a damage perpetrated by your plants (aka you)?
Are you allowed to set foot on their property to trim the side of the hedge facing their garden in order to prevent overgrowth?
No idea tbh.

recrudesence · 25/11/2019 15:42

What about a narrow raised bed to join the ones at the top and bottom?

IWorkAtTheCheesecakeFactory · 25/11/2019 15:43

OP you can buy trellis planters in various sizes. I think they would be ideal for your border. They aren’t a fence so Won’t be breaching any covenant but they act pretty much like a fence for boundary purposes. You can grow beautiful plants in them and added bonus of being able to move them if you decide you want something else there.

Neighbour complaining about our garden lights
crazyangel1981 · 25/11/2019 15:46

Remove your lights

Then build a wall

That's what I would do Grin

ifIwerenotanandroid · 25/11/2019 15:48

We had this problem with our drive-next-to-drive arrangement, & the more we left it & didn't say anything, the more liberties the neighbours took.

We finally contacted the police about all sorts of bizarre behaviour & communications from them, & the police advised us to put something between the drives. I pointed out that if we did that, the neighbours would have great difficulty getting in & out of their cars - but that was apparently OK!! We were one day away from buying the stuff to do it ourselves when an estate agent arrived for next door Grin.

We'd finally come up with a solution which would be difficult to move but could be removed if no longer needed, & wouldn't need fixing into the ground. I'll see if I can find a link...

diddl · 25/11/2019 15:48

Haha IWorK, when I first looked at your pic I thought that it said "sod off"!

IWorkAtTheCheesecakeFactory · 25/11/2019 15:50

Grin diddl. Unintended coincidence!

INeedNewShoes · 25/11/2019 15:51

I actually really like a pp’s idea of putting some boulders down at the edge of your lawn. Far cheaper than having a wall built but just as effective at keeping cars off your grass.

I don’t think a fence would be a good idea as they’ll likely open their car door to press against your fence and damage it.

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